Kashmir News Weekly Roundup: 7/30-8/6
Resistance group slams India over false claims of normalcy in Kashmir
The Resistance Front’s media wing in Kashmir released a statement on the 4th anniversary of Article 370’s abrogation calling it a day when the ‘final leftovers of hope of Kashmiris was snatched and (Kashmiris) were further pushed into darkness’.
The spokesperson of the resistance group said that the people of Kashmir were ‘already deprived of their legal rights and independence in 1947 by the Indian occupying forces’, and that they have declared the day to be observed as ‘Youm-e-Istehsal’.
“The tall claims of Fascist BJP regime about the so-called normalcy in IIOJK after the abrogation of special status of IIOJK are just election gimmicks, a false narrative that this Fascist Sanghi regime wants to feed the common population,” the statement reads.
“The reality is that after the Abrogation of 370 the situation has worsened many fold. The resistance movement has not only accelerated in the valley but the operations of Resistance Fighters has started to expand into Jammu, and even outside IIOJK,” the statement added.
Police detains civilians, forces Shias to raise slogans against Sunnis
Several residents of downtown Srinagar were summoned by the respective police stations of their areas for questioning during the holy month of Muharram. A majority of the summoned people were Sunni Muslims who were imprisoned under “suspicion of disturbing processions” that were held on the eighth and tenth of Muharram respectively.
One of the boys who was arrested told us, “We were released on the 11th of Muharram after our guardians assured us of our obedience to police instructions in writing. There were almost 20 other boys detained with us in one police station.”
A Shia Muslim who took part in the processions revealed how the Indian state has attempted to create a Shia-Sunni divide after allowing the mourning processions amid heightened military presence.
A Shia Muslim from Srinagar’s old city said, “The armed forces allowed the procession with the hope that they will be successful in forcing Sunnis to attack the mourners. The occupation police had asked so many boys (Shia) to carry posters cursing stone-pelters and raise anti-Sunni slogans during these mourning processions, but the resilience and compassion by both sides (Shia/Sunni) turned out to be a slap on their faces.”
Eyewitnesses said that the mourners also prevented a few BJP workers from waving the Indian and BJP flags during these processions.
Notably, after India outlawed Muharram processions in 1989 when a popular uprising against New Delhi’s control started in the Kashmir Valley. The government ban on the religious processions continued during the Modi regime until now. As a new strategy it was permitted now for the first time in 34 years. However, the procession was only permitted for two hours, from 6 to 8 am, during which time mourners were permitted to go through Srinagar’s historic roads.
Indian forces ransack homes after Army man goes missing
After an Indian army soldier Javaid Ahmad Wani went missing on July 30, the Indian armed forces and police arrested several civilians in South Kashmir’s Kulgam area. Families of a few active resistance fighters as well as OGW-designated civilians were arrested.
The kidnapping of Javaid has been connected by locals to the supply of females for prostitution and intelligence to the Indian army and the SP office in Kulgam. According to local sources, the army man Javaid was involved in trapping, and sometimes blackmailing, females from the Kulgam district’s Chawaalgam and Achatchal villages and taking them to the Army and the SP’s office there.
“He was actively involved in trapping dozens of girls in the sex trade. By offering jobs and other incentives, he would take photos of them and then blackmail them into acting as agents, or work as prostitutes for the occupying forces, including officers.” There are speculations about negotiations between the resistance groups and JK police that eventually led to Javaid’s release, however the picture is not yet clear.
BJP attempting to create Manipur-like situation in Kashmir by including upper-caste Paharis in the list
On Monday, protesters from the Gujjar-Bakerwal communities in Reasi district gathered on the highways to voice their opposition to the Indian government’s decision to include upper-caste Hindu Paharis in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list in J&K. The protesters have been demanding immediate withdrawal of the law that includes upper-caste Hindu Paharis in ST list.
Hindu Paharis, Gadda Brahmins, and Kolis would be classified as STs in the former state if the procedures are put into place. According to the Indian government, Valmikis will also be included on the Schedule Caste list. The ST list guarantees that the underprivileged populations may apply for jobs on a preferred basis. Muslim Gujjar and Bakerwal tribes contend that they should be represented because they have historically been disadvantaged. However, they believe that the government is unjustly favouring Hindus as part of the Hindutva agenda by exploiting the law.
They claim that the BJP of India is seeking to turn the region into a “Manipur-like” confrontation by pitting one population against another after failing to establish a strong electoral foothold in the disputed territory. In order to harm the prospects of the traditional unionist parties like NC and PDP, BJP has been trying to make inroads in the Pir Panjal area. It does this by stoking discord among Gujjars, Bakarwals, and Paharis.
Family visits slain son’s grave in Kupwara after 20 months
After a lengthy court battle that lasted 20 months, the Magray family of Ramban district traveled to the grave of their deceased son Amir Magray in Kupwara, north Kashmir, and made Fateh Khani (prayers for the deceased). On November 15, 2021, three civilians, including Magray, were murdered by Indian military troops in Hyderpora, Srinagar. After a court order which allowed the family to visit the grave, prayers were offered at the cemetery on Sunday in the Wadoora hamlet of North Kashmir by Amir’s father Latief, his wife, and other family members.
Margay and the other murdered civilians, according to the police, were “militants,” and their remains were buried at a Kupwara cemetery. The remains of Altaf Ahmad Bhat and Dr. Mudasir Gul’s, two others who were murdered, were finally unearthed and handed over to their families after the Jammu and Kashmir administration succumbed to pressure over the legitimacy of the Hyderpora military operation, which was proved to be a case of fake encounter operation by the Indian forces.
The Occupation Police had declared in 2020 that it would bury the corpses of resistance fighters in undisclosed locations rather than handing them over to their relatives. Human rights organizations assert that the occupying force has been murdering unarmed civilians and burying them in mass graves at these remote off-limits areas.
NIA raids residence of Human Rights Advocate Parvez Imroz
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India continued its raiding frenzy on Tuesday, conducting many searches around Kashmir, including at the home of attorney Parvez Imroz in an NGO financing case that was filed in the year 2020. As the public face of the legal campaign against Indian military occupation in Kashmir, Imroz has won multiple international human rights awards for his commitment and perseverance for restoring justice.
In Kashmir, the Indian government has clamped down on activists and journalists by conducting home raids and booking individuals under false charges. This week, the occupation police, CRPF, and NIA investigators conducted multiple raids in Srinagar, Kupwara, Budgam, Pulwama, and Shopian districts.
In Srinagar, they raided the residence of Zubair Siddiq Dar, son of Mohammad Sadiq Dar at Bonpora Batmaloo. In Budgam, NIA raiders raided the residence of Arshad Andrabi, son of Ghulam Qadir at Cooperative Colony of Peerbagh. Another team searched the residence of Advocate Parvaiz Ahmad Sheikh, son of Ghulam Qadir at Kanta Bagh Kralpora. The residence of Saleem Ahmad Malik at Kralpora Kupwara was also searched by the sleuths of NIA. Similarly, raids were being conducted in different parts of Kashmir valley.
Occupation Police arrests two civilians in north Kashmir’s Baramulla
On Wednesday, in the Baramulla area of north Kashmir, Indian occupation forces and police detained two civilians under the false accusation of being “hybrid militants.” The individuals were accused of having ties to resistance groups. The individuals have been identified as Nourul Kamran Ganie, son of Mohammad Akbar Ganie of Bagh-e-Islam Old Town Baramulla, and Faisal Majeed Ganie, son of Abdul Majeed of Bungalow Bagh Baramulla.
India’s occupation authorities in Kashmir have currently detained several thousand innocent Kashmiris in various jails in India after booking them under false charges, including anti-terror laws. Many of them have never been produced before a court or a magistrate.
Kashmiri religious body condemns Indian reoccupation of Kashmir
Mirwaiz of Kashmir, Muhammad Umar Farooq, has completed four years of house imprisonment, according to the Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid on Friday. The Anjuman and Muslims of J&K strongly denounce his continued house detention. “He completed four years of not being allowed to either propagate the centuries-old tradition of preaching on Fridays at the Central Jamia Masjid, nor being able to offer obligatory Friday prayers,” the Anjuman said in a statement.
Head-offices of pro-India parties NC, PDP sealed on August, 5.
Ahead of the fourth anniversary of Article 370 abrogation, the imposed authorities in Jammu and Kashmir made a large number of political arrests and locked the regional headquarters of the traditionally pro-Indiaparties. According to party members, the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference headquarters next to Srinagar’s Zero Bridge were shut on Saturday.
“True to form and in keeping with the clampdown on mainstream democratic activities organized by parties opposed to 5th Aug 2019, the JKNC office has been sealed by the police,” the party said in a statement. “No one is being allowed in or out of the office.”
Earlier, the PDP president and other senior politicians of the party were kept under house arrest. “I’ve been put under house arrest along with other senior PDP leaders today. This comes after a midnight crackdown where scores of my party men were illegally detained in police stations. GOI’s false claims about normalcy stand exposed by their actions driven by paranoia,” PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said.
UP’s ATS arrests Kashmiri civilian from Anantnag
A 30 year old civilian from South Kashmir’s Anantnag area has been arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad on suspicion of supporting the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen organization.
The detained Kashmiri civilian was taken into custody by the ATS team on August 4 from Anantnag and has been identified as Firdaus Ahmad Dar. Dar was transported to Lucknow by the ATS squad after receiving a transit remand from a nearby court.